BBC Watchdog takes machete to Jungle

Dozens of complaints trickle in

Jungle.com received a mauling last night on prime time UK television and in front of millions of people following complaints that the service was simply not up to scratch.

Ann Robinson, the BBC's pack leader on its consumers affairs programme, Watchdog, tore into CEO Steve Bennett after she said the programme had received dozens of complaints about faulty goods, failed deliveries and lost refunds. Out of the many thousand of customers that have done business with Jungle, to instigate an investigation by the BBC's flagship consumer affairs programme after receiving just "dozens" of complaints might seem like a disproportionate reaction.

"It's a bit scary to trust you for a Christmas present," snarled Ms Robinson in her opening comment to Bennett. "The vast majority of people who have used Jungle have been happy with the service," replied Bennett. "Customer service is key to our success."

Speaking today, Bennett admitted that Jungle has had "some complaints" but that these had all been dealt with. He also said that Which? - the Consumers Association magazine - was set to reissue its Web Trader seal of approval after the consumer affairs organisation stripped Jungle of it last week. O

ne question that definitely won't have been asked on last night's programme is who's watching the watchdog? OK, so shoddy customer service is not to be tolerated, but is it really a worthwhile use of airtime - not mention licence payers' money* - to investigate something like this after only receiving "dozens" of complaints?

Is Bennett hoping to fleece the UK general public by offering a scam service that never delivers on its promise. No. Anyone can make mistakes and in this case the numbers are pretty small. Perhaps Bennett - the man behind Software Warehouse as well as Jungle - has become a victim of tall poppy syndrome.

After all, the UK is a nation of (under)dog lovers. ® * In the UK everyone who owns a TV set has to buy a TV licence. The BBC is funded by this money. The annual licence fee currently stands at £101. Those registered as blind qualify for a discount of £1.25. ®

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